Installing Windows Home Server 2011 from USB
Here is a simple tool from Microsoft that will allow you to write an ISO image to a USB stick and allow you to boot from it and install. It’s simple and quick to use.
Hopefully you have decided to download and install the Release Candidate of Windows Home Server 2011. If you do you will get a couple of ISO’s. An ISO is a disc image that you can’t do much with as it is. You can’t just copy it to a disc as a file and expect anything to happen. You have to burn the image to a DVD the correct way in order to extract the contents to the DVD the way the manufacturer of the image intended. If you are running Windows 7 you can simply right click the file and choose “Burn Disc Image.” Windows 7 will handle the rest.
Microsoft has a software tool that allows you to write the disc image to a USB device. The install from a bootable USB key is much faster and I highly recommend it. This tool is a hidden gem inside the Microsoft Online store and it’s called the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool.
It was originally intended for use by those who purchase Windows 7 online and need a means in which to transfer the file to a bootable DVD. Plug in your USB stick, point this program to your ISO you have downloaded and a few minutes later you will have a bootable USB stick in which to install the OS of your choice. You may need a stick bigger than 4 Gig with the WHS 2011 image but other OS’s fit on a 4 Gig stick just fine. I put it on a 8 Gig stick myself just to be sure.
More information here: http://store.microsoft.com/Help/ISO-Tool
It’s very simple to use and only requires a few steps. Enjoy.
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